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‘Avengers’ Sets 2nd-Weekend Record With $103 Million

“Marvel’s The Avengers,” broke another box-office record, taking in $103.2 million for Walt Disney Co. in its second weekend in U.S. and Canadian theaters.

The film surpassed the $75.6 million benchmark for a second weekend in 2009 by “Avatar,” researcher Box-Office said today in an e-mailed statement. Last week “The Avengers” smashed the opening-weekend record with $207.4 million in domestic receipts. The vampire comedy “Dark Shadows,” starring Johnny Depp and directed by Tim Burton, opened in second place with $28.8 million.

The records raise the prospect studios will top their previous best yearly sales of $10.6 billion set in 2009, Paul Dergarabedian, president of Box-Office, said in an interview. Sales and attendance for 2012 are both up over 2011, according to Opening May 25 is Sony Corp.’s “Men in Black 3,” forecast by to generate $205 million in domestic sales.

Disney Chief Executive Officer Robert Iger told investors on a conference call last week the company will turn “The Avengers” into a franchise. The studio also will continue to draw individually from the characters for more films, he said. Disney is developing a third “Iron Man” movie and a sequel to “Thor,” the hammer-wielding Norse demigod also featured in “The Avengers.”

In “The Avengers,” several Marvel heroes band together to fight an army of aliens led by Loki, also a character from Norse mythology. The movie stars Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Chris Hemsworth as Thor and Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow.

“Dark Shadows,” from Time Warner Inc.’s Warner Bros., is inspired by the daytime television show about a New England family entangled with vampires, ghosts and werewolves. Burton’s tongue-in-cheek interpretation also features Michelle Pfeiffer, Helena Bonham Carter and Eva Green.

“Dark Shadows” was the only film to open in wide release.

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